PhotoNotes Compatibility Lookup - Canon EOS 40D and Canon Speedlite 580EX.
This page outlines compatibility information between the digital camera and flash unit that you specified. You can also look up more detailed specifications on the Canon Speedlite 580EX if you like.
Dont forget that you can also consult my article on EOS flash photography if you want any of the terms or concepts here explained or elucidated.
This combination is wholly compatible.
You have an E-TTL II (type A) digital camera with an E-TTL flash unit. You also get full support for wireless E-TTL flash ratios and other advanced features.
Description of the Canon Speedlite 580EX.
The Canon Speedlite 580EX was introduced in 2004 and discontinued in 2007. Its a standard hotshoe-mounted flash unit intended for general purpose applications.
The 580EX is the successor to the 550EX. It combines the same basic functionality of the 550EX with some small user interface improvements (notably the control wheel), reduces the recycle time, increases the guide number and reduces the size and weight. Regrettably it also features a famously fiddly and inconvenient battery door cover. However, its easy to use slave/master switch for wireless E-TTL make it a popular used market buy over the later 580EX II.
Automated flash metering.
The Canon EOS 40D supports E-TTL II flash metering but not TTL or A-TTL. It is a type A digital camera body.
The Canon Speedlite 580EX supports TTL, E-TTL and E-TTL II flash metering.
In summary, this combination gives you E-TTL II automated flash metering. (it doesnt give you plain E-TTL since E-TTL II is essentially a superset of E-TTL)
Guide number (power output).
The flash unit has a zooming flash head which can move internally to adjust for the lens focal length. Control over the zoom position is both manual and automatic. The zoom range is from 24-105 mm, with zoom detents (stops) at 24, 28, 35, 50, 70, 80 and 105mm.
Note that the flash zooming takes the cameras subframe image sensor cropping factor into account - it adjusts the flash zoom to match the sensor size, since the camera transmits this data to the flash unit and the flash unit can understand the message. So the flash wastes a minimum of light around the edges. A bug present in some earlier 580EX models limits the utility of this feature on some subframe D-SLRs with subframe image sensing - at 24mm or wider the flash may not zoom wide enough, which results in some vignetting.
The units guide number (provided in metres, not feet, for ISO 100) varies depending on the zoom head settings.
At 14mm (with the flip-down diffuser in place) the guide number is 15. At 24mm the guide number is 28. At 28mm the guide number is 30. At 35mm the guide number is 36. At 50mm the guide number is 42. At 70mm the guide number is 50. At 80mm the guide number is 53. At 105mm the guide number is 58.
Flash head movement.
The flash units head can both tilt and swivel and can swivel 180 degrees both left and right with a handy single catch to release the tilt and swivel motions (most tilt/swivel flash units have two catches). The head has a flip-out diffuser panel which can diffuse light up to a focal length of 14mm. It also has the ability to tilt downwards for macro shots. Finally, the unit has a pull-out catchlight panel thats separate from the diffuser panel.
Flash exposure compensation (FEC).
The flash unit has flash exposure compensation (FEC) controls on the back panel in the form of a control dial. Note that these controls override any FEC settings on the camera body.
The flash units red autofocus assist light covers all nine autofocus points on the camera. The AF assist light has a range of 0.6-10 metres at centre; 0.6-5m periphery.
When used without a flash unit the camera employs irritating pulses of light from its built-in flash to serve as autofocus assist.
This flash unit is capable of acting as a wireless E-TTL master (controlling other wireless E-TTL flash units) when used with this camera.
The flash is also capable of acting as a wireless E-TTL slave (being controlled by a wireless E-TTL master flash unit) when this camera is equipped with another master flash unit.
Both camera and flash support wireless E-TTL wireless ratios, so this feature is also available.
When in master mode the flash unit supports three (A, B and C) wireless groups. It also uses visible white light (not invisible infrared) to send E-TTL wireless control signals.
Unfortunately this camera is not able to control wireless E-TTL slaves remotely via its built-in flash unit.
Flash sync shutter speed (X sync) and FP (high speed sync) mode.
The highest shutter speed of which the camera is capable while using flash (X sync), at least when it isnt in FP mode, is 1/250 sec.
Additionally this combination supports FP (high speed sync) mode. The flash unit also has a manual FP mode control.
Flash exposure lock (FEL).
This combination supports flash exposure lock (FEL), but the camera lacks a separate dedicated FEL button, so FEL must be set using the same button which sets auto-exposure lock (AE lock).
Second curtain sync mode.
The camera has a custom function to enable second-curtain sync and the flash unit supports second curtain sync, so this feature is available. The back-panel controls on the flash unit allow you to control second-curtain sync mode as well (and override any body setting).
Manual metering and stroboscopic flash.
Manual flash metering is supported by this flash unit, with a power range of 1 to 1/128. Manual flash output on this flash unit is set via a menu function in the camera. Stroboscopic flash, with a range of 1-199 Hertz (pulses per second), is also supported.
Automatic digital white balance compensation.
Digital white balance compensation refers the ability for a camera and flash unit to communicate power output and battery levels to each other in order to obtain a more accurate white balance for flash photography. Both the camera and flash unit support this feature, so it would be available to you.
Flash unit custom function control.
While the camera supports the control of flash unit custom functions, and the flash unit has custom functions of its own, the flash unit does not have the ability to have its custom functions set by the camera. Accordingly you must use the flash units built-in LCD to set its custom functions.
Neither camera nor flash unit are weatherproofed.
Other advanced features.
Both the camera and flash support flash exposure bracketing (FEB), so the feature is available. Modelling light is supported by this combination. Flash exposure confirmation indicator on back panel. Back panel LCD (liquid crystal display). Backlight illumination for LCD. Rapid-fire mode.
Flash unit custom functions.
These are the custom functions available on the flash unit itself, not on the camera body.
1 - Automatic cancellation of FEB after three frames - on or off.
2 - FEB sequence (standard/decreased/increased or decreased/standard/increased).
3 - Flash metering - E-TTL/E-TTL II or TTL-only.
4 - Slave unit auto power off - activate after 60 mins or 10 mins of inactivity.
5 - Cancellation of slave's auto power off - can be cancelled by master within 1 hr/8 hrs.
6 - Modelling flash - available, not available (if you want to check depth of field without firing flashes).
7 - Flash recycling when using high voltage port - use both internal batteries and high voltage port, use high voltage port only. (note that flash needs working internal batteries to run, even if it's connected to a battery pack)
8 - Quick flash with continuous shooting - off or on.
9 - Test firing - 1/32 or full output.
10 - Modelling flash with test button - disabled/enabled.
11 - Automatic compensation for image sensor size when available - enabled/disabled.
12 - AF assist beam off - disabled/enabled.
13 - Flash exposure compensation - use dial and button/ dial only.
14 - Auto power off activation - on/off.
Power and physical features.
Save Energy (SE) function, with a timeout value of 90 seconds (60 as slave). Save Energy SE override control. Powered by four standard AA cells - alkaline, NiCad, NiMH. Also compatible with lithium AA cells. Sports a high-voltage connector for external battery pack. Rapid-fire mode supported with high-voltage connector. Plastic flash foot. Flash foot has a locking hotshoe. Weight: 375g. Size: 76mm W x 134mm H x 114mm D.
This page was generated automatically from a comparison database. There is no guarantee that this database and display code are entirely free from error. Please notify me using the feedback form at the bottom of this page if you notice any inaccuracies.
Information was derived from a number of sources, including Canon news releases, the Canon Camera Museum and Daves Speedlites Comparison Table, the Canon Speedlite Reference Guide, Canon Flash Work and various manufacturer-supplied product manuals.
This information is accurate to the best of my knowledge, but I cannot take responsibility for purchasing decisions you may make.
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